The miniature Surface is back, this time with beefed-up internals and more modern display design. Surface Go 2 may not compete with powerhouses like the iPad Pro 2020 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus but it certainly improves upon its entry-level appeal.
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What we love – New slim bezels, striking display and improved battery life
For a tablet, the original Surface Go didn’t look all that behind the times – that was until almost bezel-free devices like the iPad Pro came along. To try and catch up, Surface Go 2 has slimmed down edges this time. The improvement definitely improves the overall looks even if it isn’t quite iPad Pro-level.
The narrower bezels mean we’re up from a 10-inch to a 10.5-inch display this time. The change may not sound like much but with a resolution bump from 1800×1200 to 1920×1280, it’s a significant improvement. The display itself is a rather stunning and bright IPS panel that is mightily impressive for the price.
Since the Surface Go 2 doesn’t offer powerhouse performance (we’ll get to that later), you get the benefits of longer battery life – with around nine hours being the norm here.
While the £99.99 Type Cover isn’t included in the £399 base price of the Go 2, we think it’s worth a mention. The Type Cover offers a formidable typing experience for such a thin accessory. The keys may be a bit cramped due to the device’s overall size but the cover is remarkably comfortable to type on once you get used to it.
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What we don’t like – Base model offers weak performance and Windows 10 S mode restrictions
If you’re looking to save some money with the Surface Go 2 then it’s worth being a bit cautious. You can pick up the base model for an inviting £399, however, this model sports the entry-level Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y processor alongside 4GB RAM.
The combo just isn’t up to it for any kind of moderately intensive tasks. If you’re a regular user of upwards of 7/8 browser tabs or like to multi-task across programs then you’ll have to go for a higher spec or look elsewhere for more power at a similar price – a Chromebook or base iPad perhaps. The higher-spec offers 8GB RAM and an Intel Core m3 processor, offering more horsepower but at a less attractive £619 price.
Along with performance limitations, you’re also limited by Windows 10 S mode. S mode limits you to apps available from the Microsoft Store – meaning you won’t be able to access the likes of Chrome.
You can unlock full-fat Windows 10 for free (though you can’t return to S mode after making the switch). However, the Go 2 is in S mode because of its low power and, particularly for the base model, full Windows 10 will reduce performance.
Surface Go 2 might be the best-looking small tablet you can buy but it comes with several compromises. If you love the design, you’ll likely make do with the shortcomings but if you chose this device for more practical use then be cautious with the model you choose.
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